Back from injury, Raymond is USU football’s unknown weapon

LOGAN – Kent Myers was looking to build on his team’s 10-0 lead when he spotted his next target. The senior Utah State quarterback spotted his 6-foot-5 tight end running east to west about five yards out.

Dax Raymond caught the ball, turned up field and used some shiftiness not often seen in a 245 pounder to make a would-be tackler miss. Then the play turned into a display of Raymond’s speed, which he used to outrun a pair of defenders.

Raymond was finally met by a defensive back in front of the goal line. He stretched for the endzone as he was hit, but fell a yard short. For the former Timpview tight end, his three catches meant more than the 56 yards he recorded in the stat book. They were his first since injuries sidelined him as a freshman in 2015.

When asked about Raymond post game, Wells smiled.

“Aggie fans don’t really know Dax yet,” he said.

Until last Thursday, most USU fans hadn’t seen how big of a target Raymond actually is, what kind of hands he has or the moves he can make after the catch. But Wells has. He called Raymond “an absolute weapon.”

“I think he’s one of the better tight ends if not the best in the Mountain West,” Wells said.

It was a back injury that forced Raymond to sit out and redshirt in 2016. He watched from the sideline as his team lost multiple close games on its way to a 3-9 record. They were games Raymond felt he could have helped in.

“You want so bad to put the shoulder pads on but you just can’t,” he said. “I did all I could with coaching and cheering the guys on, but it was really frustrating because I was super close to being out there and it didn’t happen.”

After feeling optimistic heading into August’s fall camp, more injury issues got in the way. That meant missing another game, the season opener at Wisconsin.

“You’re really with these guys year round,” Raymond said. “They become your family. A football game, it’s like you’re going to a battle. To just have to watch your buddies, your homies, your best friends go out and you can’t help them, it’s really hard.”

Raymond said it “felt fantastic” to play again. Now that he is back on the field he is ready to make the most of it.

“I want to help out the team as much as I can,” he said, “be the best tight end in the Mountain West and win the Mountain West championship.”

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